Style / World of Watches (WOW)

WOW Summer 2018 takes a tour of watchmaking marvels

WOW’s latest edition is an adventure into the heart of watchmaking conundrums. Given that there’s nothing new under the sun, how are we to perceive new timepieces?

Jul 04, 2018 | By Jonathan Ho

WOW’s latest edition has been an adventure into the heart of watchmaking conundrums. Given that there’s nothing new under the sun, how are we to perceive new timepieces (and the inevitable comparison) to “perceived” more venerable predecessors?

“With continued innovation and artisanship, Swiss watchmaking will retain its supremacy for the foreseeable future but there are threats rising. Even now, there’s a little Imperial watchmaking outfit from a land better known for watch consumption than production. We break the news on Maison Celadon. A Singapore conceptualised brand, made by Beijing Watch Factory; highly attractive timepieces at highly attractive price points.” – Jonathan Ho, Associate Editor, World of Watches

WOW Summer 2018 takes a tour of watchmaking marvels

Even if we were to ignore brand novelties from the recent edition of Baselworld, even the production process and techniques suffer from various misunderstandings and misperceptions – many of us think of casemaking as a simple machine stamped, mass produced phase of watchmaking but our feature will literally make the case, it’s really more difficult and requires more precision than one realises.

This strikes at the very heart of watchmaking, knowledge and provenance are two sides of the same coin, both serve to present deeper, richer insights to brands and timepieces previously woefully misperceived and tragically ill-considered by us, the consumer, because we had been misinformed. Case in point, the Girard Perregaux Laureato. It’s not often the first watch you own, but it is what you eventually should get to show that you truly understand watches.

Today, hindsight celebrates the few brands who continued focus on mechanical marvels but Girard Perregaux was on the frontline, keeping Swiss watchmaking in the game as pioneers of precision quartz calibres. More importantly, they were high end quartz calibres which flew against the torrent of mass produced plastic and chrome effect watches which flooded the market. Today, driven by both quartz and mechanical calibres, the Laureato is a emblematic of the many victorious battlefronts which preserved the Swiss industry and eventually led to its resurgence.

Speaking of quartz, precision quartz movements are back in vogue thanks to Longines and their surprisingly affordable yet supremely technical VHP calibres. Given its incredibly niche and technical nature, it’s bound to develop a cult following all over again; and in the face of “Quickstarter” microbrands with cheap quartz movements in expensive-looking cases, they’re very much the salve for jaded collector. Yet, these Kickstarter brands are redefining what it means to be “entry-level” luxury timepiece.

Associate Editor of WOW, Jonathan Ho says, “With continued innovation and artisanship, Swiss watchmaking will retain its supremacy for the foreseeable future but there are threats rising. Even now, there’s a little Imperial watchmaking outfit from a land better known for watch consumption than production. We break the news on Maison Celadon. A Singapore conceptualised brand, made by Beijing Watch Factory; highly attractive timepieces at highly attractive price points.”

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